How the Quad Cities are trying to beat COVID


Iowa National Guard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

COVID-19 testing site run by the Iowa National Guard providing free and accessible COVID tests by appointment.

Keval Wagher, Copy Editor

As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches its two-year anniversary, there has been a decline in cases not seen since the summer of 2021. This may be due to the efforts made by municipalities to maintain public health, most of which aim to make health resources more accessible to everyone. 

Since the beginning, there were concerns about how the pandemic would affect people of different socio-economic statuses. Many people from less fortunate backgrounds either did not have the ability to work from home or were labeled “essential workers” and had to risk their health to provide for their families. 

Protective masks were hard to come by at first. Though masks were required in indoor spaces, the cloth masks that many people had access to were not as effective as the high quality masks that people needed to stay safe. The city of Bettendorf recognized this and made them available at the city hall to those who needed them. 

Vaccination campaigns run by the city governments and other groups played an important role in convincing hesitant community members to get vaccinated and boosted, and the Scott County vaccination rate has reached 70.4%, according to the CDC’s COVID tracker. As the CDC and FDA continue to approve different versions of the multiple vaccines for younger age groups, the rate will likely continue to increase. 

In addition to efforts made by federal, state and local governments, companies contributed to protecting the community in an equitable manner. Some local businesses still choose to require masks to shop at their stores, even though they are not mandated by the government. Many of these businesses even provide free masks for shoppers so as not to sacrifice consumership for public health.

National chain stores with more resources have provided for the community in a different way. Pharmacies offer free COVID vaccinations and testing by appointment, which is convenient for busy people and those with less economic means. Furthermore, Walgreens has partnered with the government to offer free N95 masks, the most effective and protective measure against COVID-19. 

The Quad Cities are not out of the woods quite yet, though. 

There is still much work to be done to protect the community. If people become apathetic to the pandemic again, there may be another spike in cases similar to the one seen in January.

The tools are in the hands of the people, and now it is their job to stay vigilant against the virus.